A lifelong interest in dragons has evolved into a major high school activity for Katie Boyle, sr. A Chinese Dragon has come to Kennedy High School as a result. “I’ve been in love with dragons ever since I was really young. The Chinese Dragon is a very beautiful, very powerful thing that I thought would be very cool to have here at Kennedy,” Boyle said.
Boyle started a Dragon Dance Team at Kennedy. The team received a $10,000 grant from the Confucius Institute which transformed Katie’s dream into a reality. With the grant money the Kennedy Dragon Dance Team was able to purchase a fabric dragon. The dragon is held up by poles and a bamboo center which they use in each of their routines. The group is now a dozen strong, but continues to look for more interested participants. The team’s routines incorporate music, dance, and athletics as the members perform Chinese Dragon Dances.
The Kennedy Dragon Dance Team practices once a week for an hour. A practice consists of stretching, running, basic drills, pacing, follow the leader to synchronize everyone’s movements, and similar activities to help the group mold into an team. “In the routine there is a lot of the dragon jumping over itself and requires a lot of running, so it’s definitely considered a sport,” Boyle said. As with all performance groups, the more the members work together the more comfortable they get with each other and with their routines. The team has a lot of fun but also is serious about their performances.
Boyle’s fascination of dragons that started at age 4 is going stronger than ever through the Kennedy Dragon Dance Team. As she finishes out her four years at Kennedy, she hopes that the traditions she has started will continue and grow in the years to come.